Sex work has long since gone digital but hatred for adult content creators has once again been realized. Onlyfans has chosen the side of misogyny in their decision to ban explicit content from their platform and the internet is in an uproar! Incels from SoundCloud rappers to Twitch content creators alike have been ridiculing Onlyfans sex workers that have been pink-slipped and the audacity is seething. I recently saw a meme that said that sex workers would have to go out and get a “real job” in the fast-food industry since their accounts were shut down, so I’m peeved with the chauvinism and classism intersectionality. We need to have a conversation about the oldest profession in history, a culture that promotes pedophilia, and the patriarchy that oppresses us all.
Church leaders in medieval times attempted to rehabilitate prostitutes and pay for their dowries while the institution itself was still protected by law. The phrase “sex sells” isn’t just a marketing strategy but also a historically accurate statement. In Toulouse, the profits from the brothels were distributed between the city and the university. The Bishops of Winchester licensed bordellos in England until Parliament took over; but now that sex work is uploaded to modern computers, religious groups have been targeting platforms like Onlyfans under the guise of stopping kiddie porn. I recall back in April when the culture vulture herself Danielle Bregoli uploaded her Onlyfans account just hours after she turned 18 and made $1 million. The content creators of Tiktok pointed out the pedophilia encouraged in our society because of the thirsty comments and how fast the barely legal teen became a millionaire. In a “what’s classy if you’re rich but trashy if you’re poor situation,” Hollywood didn’t seem to have a problem with Tyga and Kylie dating or Elvis Presley marrying a 14 year old but the porn industry is once again under scrutiny. Investors will show disdain for companies that promote sex work and even create an environment where platforms are discouraged from supporting content to the point where a ban is necessary to stay afloat. But since when have capitalists grown a conscience? This ploy was brought on just to appease payment processors like Visa and MasterCard because of their decision last year to ban purchases on Pornhub thanks to evangelical groups. Exodus Cry is a Christian nonprofit organization that claims that it’s against sex trafficking and exploitation but they have yet to target the powerful “Johns” that create the demand such as Matt Gaetz and members of the Southern Baptist Convention. This may just be me being cynical here but I believe that the t.v. show To Catch a Predator has done a better job of stopping sexual predators than the Exodus Cry organization. An assistant district attorney from Texas doesn’t just accidentally send pictures to who he believed was a 13-year-old boy, so why create a campaign against adult content?
Being anti-pornography does not stop sexual predators, but it does take away the livelihood of the sex workers that found ways to make money during a pandemic without risk of exposure. Before the pandemic Onlyfans had around 20 million active user accounts and then experienced a 533% increase after the fact. What the U.S. has witnessed during the pandemic is the collapse of the customer service industry, a skyrocketing unemployment rate, and a sex worker friendly platform being one of the most popular sites on Earth. Now we’ll witness a similar pitfall like Tumblr come October because Onlyfans has decided to become more palpable for venture capitalists and banks alike while throwing sex workers under the bus. The trend that I’m seeing is men in power who are freely able to prey on our society’s most vulnerable while women are demonized for making a living through sex work. The answer doesn’t start with punishing women, it starts with holding men in power accountable. Enabling a silent and compliant society is what breeds pedophilia-not sex work.